Located at the heart of campus in Frost Library, the Center for Humanistic Inquiry (CHI) provides space and resources for Amherst faculty and departments holding seminars and developing programming that take inspiration from the Center’s annual theme. Each year we invite several fellows into residency at the Center to conduct research and engage each other under the rubric of a resonant annual theme. Joined by several Amherst College faculty fellows in a space designed to promote reflection and collaborative thinking, our fellows participate in weekly seminars and salons. The Center also hosts performances, fora, exhibitions, digital interventions, conferences, and workshops organized to foster humanities inquiry, provoking conversations on subjects both local and global.
As part of Amherst College, CHI is uniquely positioned to connect cutting-edge research with a broader audience. One goal of liberal arts education is to promote critical thinking in ways that can be communicated effectively across disciplines, constituencies, and ways of knowing and being. The Center not only pursues such goals at Amherst, but also in the course of national and international conversations about the critical importance of the humanities in higher education and public life. Is so doing, CHI will also work to elevate the visibility of Amherst’s ongoing collaborations with major cultural institutions—the Folger Shakespeare Library, the Emily Dickinson Museum, and others—by bringing their artists, scholars, artifacts, and programming to Amherst’s campus.